07 November 2008

Writing Journal, Day five

So I'm a bit behind, inevitably, since I have had practically no time to write anything today (and probably won't tomorrow either), so I'm now hurriedly finishing off yesterday's (now the day after yesterday's) journal. I knew this would happen. It's annoying now though, because I already know what my follow-up is going to involve... sigh.

So today, Wednesday November 5 (shush), I did something I've not done in a long time. It sounds immature for me to talk about this, but hopefully you'll see where I'm going at the end. I thought I'd got over episodes off sudden insecurity, but today I reminded myself of what I used to be like by making a completely incomprehensible noise at a girl in the queue for the bus. Well, not just out of nowhere. Literally nonsense, though. She'd asked me something I didn't hear because I had the Mars Volta blasting in one ear, but it was obvious she was asking me if I wanted to go before her. So my reply should not, of all things, have been "Shurenumbfm". And yes, I remember the sound. Ugh.

I like the fact that I can be more expressive through text. I once went to the Botanical Gardens with Olivia to be interviewed about poetry in Sheffield, with Seb, who's a really nice guy, who's now in a relationship with Olivia. So I was obviously a real third wheel back then, and I got in front of the camera and completely lost it. I could barely string a sentence together, for some reason. We found it funny afterwards, but it just shows how bad I am at spontaneity, and I just don't understand people who can just talk for hours! I like being able to go back and cross things out and delete them all the time. Self-correction is quite satisfying, but you can't really do it in real life.

And I like that while you only really have one way of talking conversationally, writing can be prose, poetry, journalism, etc. At SYW we've done postcards, scenes from plays, and I still have a page full of an onomatopoeic transcription of the noise of a time machine. Today, we began a project on just expanding a character, and having a realistic, complex character who you know inside-out. Allan is based on myself, or kind of a midway between myself and a close friend. As well as a character I dreamt up for what may have turned into a novel at one point, but who was a lot different because he was going to have lived in a world like a constant lucid dream. I love having new ways of thinking about the world, and through a new character, one who I would hold a lot of respect for, I think I'm going to have fun developing Allan. =)

The novel idea never really got off the ground, though. I'm rooted in poetry; I just enjoy it more, and feel satisfied when I stop myself from rambling. It can be somewhat daring, presenting imagery that may be misleading or suggestive, and hoping the reader doesn't just hear all the negative parts of the poem. Obviously I'm the person who has most insight into the poem, and sometimes I feel like my stuff doesn't have the right impact, but I also like the idea of constructing poetry to result in multiple interpretations.

The creation of beauty is less exact in prose, but sometimes I favour it, for instance, recently I've just been jotting down stuff that's happened to me, that felt like it was laden with imagery. I feel like Erasherhead sometimes, walking round town with weird stuff going on in the background which sometimes doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but at the same time must be symbolic... So I've tried to write down these symbols and derive some sort of meaning out of them by the time I've finished writing. I probably won't show these to anyone because a lot of them bring out a side of me I'm reluctant to display. I do the same in poetry, but I don't know if people pick up on it, and if they do, they're not as inclined to accept that it's true. I shroud my poetry in ambiguity, and I hope that different people see the sides of my writing that are relevant to them. It's harder to be ambiguous with prose, which I suppose is why novels are more popular than poems.

I'm getting quite annoyed at myself over being conversationally ineloquent, though. I think partly because Bethan's voice is so beautiful. I stumble over words so much, and slur my speech like I'm drunk. (Apparently it's terrible when I actually am drunk.) I think it's because I prefer writing, so I always want to go back and rephrase things, and start over, while I'm supposed to be having a conversation with someone. Okay, I'm barely a stuttering wreck, but I feel that it's something which has impeded me socially. Sometimes my friends phone for advice, and I find myself apologising for my lack of support. Yesterday, Michael was giving me meta-commentary about the way I was comforting him, which was actually quite funny.

And quite often conversation is quite banal... I love the stuff I talk about with my friends, though. Quite often, the most uninteresting conversation turns into a semi-philosophical discussion, which is really rad. It sounds quite pretentious of me, really. But I think that that's something I have to forget about when writing about this stuff in poetry.

And yet, when I'm trying to sum up thoughts as big as skies, I'm always going back to something I wouldn't admit to thinking twice about... Like earlier... I mean, it would have to be a girl, wouldn't it? This was actually exactly what I picked out about Allan, when I named one of his most confusing contradictions, in his continuous obsession over other human beings, and things that he would say hardly matter. I described it as an artistic pretense. I think both me and Allan would admit to overthinking trivialities. Allan's obsession over another human is not an emotion he would say made sense. And today's incident was something I should have forgotten about by now. I know you've guessed that I thought she was incredibly pretty. On the bus, she was reading a book for a social psychology course, and I realised that I must have freaked her out a bit, and wondered if she was analysing it and working out what was up with me. Not that it would have been wise to apologise for my incoherence. And of course it doesn't matter, because I'm never going to see her again.

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